The optical spectra of molecular membrane probes can be interpreted terms of the structure, dynamics, and the physiological state of the membrane. The general picture we have of membranes and of the properties of the proteins imbedded in them, has, arguably, emerged directly from probe studies over the last 20 years. This work is designed to make these techniques accessible to a broad audience of cell biologist. The techniques discussed revolve primarily around the fluorescence of membrane probes, but applications of light absorption and Raman scattering are included. In addition to reviews of the major applications, most chapters include information on required apparatus, experimental design, data analysis, and potential pitfalls.
1. Introduction 2. Membrane Fluidity 3. Studies of Membrane dynamics 4. Structure of Membrane Protein 5. Structural Mapping of Membrane Associated Proteins 6. Fluorescent Assays for Membrane Fusion 7. Use of Membrane 8. Associated Fluorescence Probes to Monitor Fusion of Bilayer Vesicles 9. Probing the Lateral Organization and Dynamics of Membranes 10. Cell Surface Clustering and Mobility of the Liganded LDL Receptor Measured by Digital Video 11. Total Internal Reflection Fluorescenc 12. Near-Fielded Imaging of Fluorescence 13. Fluorescence Probes of Anion Transport Inhibition in the Human Red Cell Membrane 14. How to Choose a Potentiometric Membrane Probe 15. Potentia 16. Sensitive Molecular Probes in Energy 17. Transducing Organelles